No. 3 Kilgore Remains Undefeated with 24-6 Win at Gladewater
GLADEWATER -- Kilgore didn't score over 40 points, as it had in every game this season to date. And it wasn't the sharpest performance. The Bulldogs did commit four uncharacteristic turnovers.
But it was a win, and a dominant one, over a scrappy Gladewater team.
Kilgore defeated Gladewater 24-6 on Friday night at Jack V. Murphy-Bear Stadium. The win gives third-ranked Kilgore a 6-0 record this season, and the Bulldogs are 3-0 in District 16-3A. Gladewater falls to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in district competition with the loss.
Kilgore scored just 25 seconds into the game on a 32-yard run by Kevrin Justice, set up by a 26-yard run by Xavier Gaona on the first play from scrimmage. Christian Galvan hit the extra point for a 7-0 Kilgore lead.
With a power running attack using several running backs, the Bears managed to do a good job moving the football, although they did get in trouble when they got into third-and-long situations against Kilgore's defense. The Bulldogs forced a Gladewater punt, but then a holding call on Kilgore's next drive called back a long run by Kilgore tailback Davieonta "JuJu" Brown. The Bulldogs, at Gladewater's 27-yard-line, tried to convert on fourth down, but Gaona's pass was incomplete.
Kilgore's Jake Brantley recovered a fumble on a pitch by Gladewater quarterback Nick Canaguier to give Kilgore great field position, and the Bulldogs answered the call, scoring in three plays. Justice got three straight runs, and on the third, a 19-yarder, he broke into the end zone for a 14-0 lead that held into the second quarter.
The last play of the first quarter was an adventure. Kilgore, with a first down at Gladewater's 12, tried a pass into the end zone, but Gladewater's Clint Sorrells intercepted the ball. Rather than remain in the end zone and get the ball on a touchback, Sorrells brought it out. He was hit, though, and fumbled the ball back to Kilgore.
Galvan hit his first field goal of the year four plays later from 39 yards out, giving the Bulldogs a 17-0 lead.
Both teams seemed to have problems hanging on to the football. Gladewater had six turnovers and Kilgore had four, including three fumbles and the interception in the end zone. A block in the back penalty negated a Kilgore score when Joseph Shepherd intercepted a pass by Canaguier and returned it for a touchdown. Justice later had a touchdown run negated by another penalty.
Neither Kilgore nor Gladewater scored in the third quarter.
Brantley made an incredible play, swiping a pitch-out by Canaguier and racing into the end zone for the Bulldogs' final score of the night and a 24-0 advantage a couple of minutes into the fourth..
Gladewater finally got on the board after that.
Daylon Mack, the Bears' highly-recruited junior defensive tackle, forced a fumble that teammate Kenneth Gossett scooped and ran to Kilgore's 4-yard line, setting up a one-yard Mack touchdown run for the Bears' only points.
The Bears have an open date next Friday night. Kilgore will host Chapel Hill.